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Spiritual Growth Takes Time

Joyce Meyer (7)

It takes time for us to grow into God’s fullness because we first need to be able to see the truth about our selves . Many times, that is the hardest part of growing because we don’t like what we see. We may pray for God to change our circumstances, but we need to be able to face the fact that He wants to change US—regardless of the circumstances. So many times the Holy Spirit will reveal things that we just don’t want to see about ourselves. But remember, the truth will set us free! So don’t be afraid to change; be more afraid of staying the same!

A lot of times, a great hindrance to our growth is our guilt. We simply can’t get past the things we’ve done. Our thoughts are powerful, and if we believe God is mad at us because we’ve sinned, guilt can eat us alive. And the enemy loves that!

But God is not mad at us. If you’re a parent just think of this: Can you love any of your children more than you do right now? Do you still want to see changes in their behavior? Well, it’s the same way with our heavenly Father. He loves us—period. He loves us now as much as He ever will. That will not change. But He still wants to see us grow and mature and experience the best He has planned for us.

The key for us is trust…trusting that He loves us…trusting that He always has our best interest in mind. And trust takes time. Our time and experience with God will teach us to trust Him. The more we trust Him, the more we’ll want to spend time with Him. The more time we spend with Him, the more we change and the more His power develops in our lives. And the more powerful our lives are, the more nervous the devil will be when we open our eyes!

The best thing, however, about time with God, is developing that close, intimate, loving relationship with Him. So, schedule a few private meetings with God. Talk to Him about your problems. Face the truth He reveals to you about yourself. Trust that He is always…and always will be working for your good. He wants you to live an abundant, fruitful, powerful.


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Getting a Grip on Bad Habits

Joyce Meyer (8)

We all have habits—good ones and bad ones, even unconscious ones. On the “bad” side, people chew their nails, overeat or spend compulsively. Maybe you’ve wrestled with a short temper or you’re always running late. I used to be a smoker.

When it comes to getting a grip on a bad habit, one of the first things we need to do is change the way we talk about it. Our words are powerful. They can reinforce a helpless, hopeless attitude. I’ve heard people say things like, “If I see one chocolate chip cookie I have to eat the whole plate.” No, you don’t. You are a child of God with the power of God living inside you. There’s no reason you can’t have authority over a cookie!

There’s a tendency nowadays to use dramatic, self-defeating language to describe what are really just bad habits. People will say, “I’m in bondage” to this or that. “Bondage” is a scary word. “Bondage” makes us think we need a miracle before we can change. Or they will say, “I have an addiction.” They’re addicted to shopping.  Addicted to food. Addicted to TV. Now I’m not suggesting that there aren’t people who do have genuine addictions. But for most of us, it’s just bad habits that we can conquer with God’s help. We don’t need to be pushed around by them.

I started smoking when I was nine years old and eventually became a chain smoker. I remember times when I was at church and the urge to smoke was so strong, I’d leave the service to have a cigarette. I’d sneak out to the car and scrunch way down on the front seat so no one would see me. When God put the desire in my heart to quit, I thought I couldn’t do it. The first day was BAD. The second day wasn’t much better, but I made it to the weekend. Then Dave and I had an argument at a picnic. I left the picnic in a huff, stopping to buy a pack of cigarettes on the way home. I thought, I’m going to go home and smoke the whole pack! But I knew if I gave in to that urge, I would probably never quit. So, by God’s grace, I took every single cigarette out of the pack and threw them in the toilet. It got a little easier each day after that. After 30 days it was a piece of cake.

Most of us have to reach a crisis point before we’ll get serious about dealing with our bad habits. We must get to the point where we are truly sick and tired of living the way we’ve been living. If you’ve reached that point with a habit you are trying to break, don’t try to do it on your own. Ask God to help you. He will do it.

In a way, we are helpless in that we can’t do anything apart from God. But that kind of helplessness is really a place of power. See, we aren’t really helpless because we have the Holy Spirit, who enables us to do whatever we need to do, living in our spirit. That doesn’t mean it will always be easy for you to do what you need to do. And you may need to be willing to be uncomfortable for a little while. But with God’s help, you will succeed.

God’s Word instructs us to put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within us (Colossians 3:5) and to think about the things of heaven, not earth (v.2). Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes (Ephesians 4:22-24). Decide that you are going to put the things of God first in your life. Paul said we can do all things through God who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). That includes getting a grip on our bad habits.

Stay immersed in God’s Word. Form a habit of saying “no” to yourself and “yes” to God. If you fail the first time, the second time or even a third time, don’t beat yourself up. Keep praying and believing that you will break those bad habits—not through your own efforts but by the power of the Holy Spirit within you. Put God first in your thoughts and priorities and you will have victory.

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Three things we must do to develop

Joyce Meyer (8)

The Bible specifically talks about three things we must do to develop a mind that agrees with God. I want to share the benefits of each of them.

1. “Set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things…” (Colossians 3:2 AMP). This is the key to resisting temptation. See, when we make up our mind ahead of time what we will and won’t do, then when temptation comes, we have laid a foundation to make right choices and are more likely to successfully overcome the temptation. For example, before you get into social situations, decide “I am not going to gossip. I’m not going to ruin someone’s reputation and offend the Holy Spirit.” Other temptations may require you to decide things like “I’m not going to eat four candy bars today.” Or “I am not going to look at pornography on the Internet.” Or “I am not going to hang out with people who are bad influences.” My point here is, we don’t want to wait until the temptation comes and then react based on how we feel about it.

2. “Do not be conformed to this world…but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind…” (Romans 12:2 AMP). Renewing the mind is an ongoing process. Every day we need to take time to study the Word so we can purposely think according to what it says. And we can’t keep one or two “junky” areas in our thought life because it just keeps us from the best God has for us. I’m not saying we have to be perfect with this, but we need to make progress each day so we can keep our mind renewed and grow in our relationship with God.

3. “Gird up the loins of your mind…” (1 Peter 1:13 NKJV). You are probably thinking, What does that mean? It’s basically saying we need to get all the junk in our mind out of our way so we can keep running our race in Christ Jesus and have the victory God wants us to have. Then we are ready for action to follow God’s plan for our lives.

One practical way we can accomplish these three directions from God is to have a think session every day. Just sit down and say, “I’m going to think about some things on purpose.” Then spend some time thinking about scriptures that renew your mind with the truth about what God says – about His love for you, His plan for you, how He wants you to live and behave… Use a concordance to find verses that cover areas you are struggling with or need to know more about. I want to encourage you to write some of them down and put them places where you will see them every day, like the bathroom mirror or refrigerator.

If you will commit to set your mind on God’s Word, renewing your mind with truth and getting stinkin’ thinkin’ out of your way, then you will experience the fullness of new life that we can all have in Christ. All it takes is a little more progress one day at a time.

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Living in Balance Closes a Door to the Enemy

Joyce Meyer (4)

Have you ever heard the saying “Less is more”? I believe it’s true, especially when it comes to the way we live our daily lives.

In our western culture, it’s very common and popular to be in a rush and be busy all the time. It’s all about getting more, more, more. We seem to feel we’re special or important when life is like this. I can relate to that. I used to feel driven to work all the time because I got my worth and value from what I did. But I learned that all of my busyness wasn’t really accomplishing what was most important anyway.

I remember years ago how this affected my life at home. My day would go something like this: I’d start to make the bed and then the phone would ring. I’d go answer it and notice the dishes needed to be done, so I’d start to load the dishwasher. In the middle of this, I’d remember that the meat needed to defrost for dinner, so I’d go downstairs to the freezer to get the meat out. When I came back upstairs, I’d see the mail on the table and remember I needed to go to the post office, so I’d leave and do that. When I came home, the bed was half made, the dishes were half done, and I felt rushed and frazzled. I didn’t enjoy my day either. Everything felt like pressure and stress, and I had a hard time concentrating on anything. I needed to slow down!

To help me overcome this lifestyle, God revealed a powerful scripture to me that really helped. First Peter 5:8 (AMP) says, “Be well balanced….” It helped me see that I was out of balance in areas of my life, and too much of anything can be destructive. I like to say it this way: Excess is the devil’s playground.

First Peter 5:8 goes on to say we must “be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around…seeking someone to seize upon and devour.” One way we can be vigilant and cautious is by taking time to examine our lives and determine if there are areas where we are out of balance. If there are, it creates an open door for the enemy to come into your life. You may be okay with it for a while, but if you continue, it will catch up with you.

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How Depending on God Is Actually the Most Powerful Thing You Can Do

Joyce Meyer (9)

I don’t know about you but, occasionally, God has to deal with me to bring me to a new level of dependence on Him.

You know, we can do great things in life, but a truly humble person doesn’t wake up in the morning without thinking, I need You, God. If You don’t help me today, I’m going to make a fool out of myself. We need His leadership to succeed. And we can’t grow in humility until we can see our own pride and confront it.

So what does pride look like? Often, it shows up in the little things―the way we treat people every day:

Like interrupting others when they’re talking…giving our opinion when nobody’s asking for it…holding a grudge instead of saying, “I’m sorry”…criticizing people who can’t do things as quickly or as well as we can…not adapting to others around us…

A prideful person isn’t a good example of God’s love, but there is hope for all of us to become more humble.

We Don’t Have to Stay Where We Started

When I first started leading a Bible study, I still had a lot to learn. I’d wear short shorts and smoke cigarettes while I was teaching the Word. Sometimes you could hardly see the people because of the smoke! Beyond that, I had an issue with pride. I would actually listen to other preachers’ sermons and think: I can do better than that!

You may be wondering why anyone in their right mind would have gone to that study. I think the reason people showed up was simply because it was part of God’s plan. He gave me a gift for communication, but that wasn’t enough. If I wanted to have a worldwide ministry, I needed to develop the kind of godly character that would keep me in a position of leadership.

Obviously, I’m not still preaching in short shorts and blowing smoke at people when I teach. But I had to start somewhere. We all do.

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Amazing Grace

Joyce Meyer (4)

If you’ve been a Christian for any amount of time, chances are you have struggled with frustrating habits or been disappointed by failures or just couldn’t do “it” (whatever your “it” is). But once you have a revelation of God’s grace in your life, you’ll know just how amazing it is!

Well, what is grace?

I’m glad you asked. But first, think of a problem you’re having in your life right now—a bad habit, conflict in a relationship, a particularly long and difficult period of testing. Now I want to ask you: Have you been trying to make things work out? If so, have they…or are you discouraged, disappointed, or frustrated?

If your answer is yes, then you are in the best place to realize just how amazing God’s grace really is! You see, grace is the power to overcome bad habits, to make peace in a relationship, or to bring you victoriously through a time of testing—without all your trying. That’s because it is God’s power, not ours, that overcomes our evil tendencies.

All that our trying has ever done, or will ever really do, is cause frustration. We can never make ourselves better by trying…praying more or longer, studying more of the Word, performing good works, etc. Don’t get me wrong…it’s not bad to do any of these things. In fact, it’s good. It’s just that doing them in God’s power is the only way those things will have any real and lasting effect in our lives.

The interesting thing about trying is that it’s not scriptural. Yes, the word is in the Bible. But, it’s not there telling us to try to do better or be better. If you look it up, you’ll see that when that word is used, it’s in reference to the “trying” of our faith, “trying” the spirits, or “trying” us to prove our character. All our trying, or human effort, is really just works of the flesh that can never bring about the change in us that only God’s power, or grace, can.

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What You Need to Know About Resisting Temptation

Joyce Meyer (8)

Temptation is part of everyday life. I don’t think there’s a day that will go by when we won’t experience the temptation to sin in a variety of different ways—like the temptation to stay angry at someone, to give up, to worry or complain, or to not keep your word to someone who’s depending on you.

Temptation is endless. And we’ve got our hands full resisting it.

I want to make it clear that temptation itself is not sin. It only becomes sin when we enter into that temptation. I say that because I realize many people feel like they’ve sinned when they’re simply being tempted, but that’s just not the case.

God has given us the fruit of self-control, so when we’re tempted to do wrong things, we can make right choices. But if we want to be successful in resisting temptation, we need to know some things about ourselves.

How Well Do You Know Yourself?

Because we have a tendency to deceive ourselves by glossing over areas of weakness in our life, it seems like the devil knows us a lot better than we know ourselves sometimes. But we can gain an advantage over him by studying our behavior and dealing with our weaknesses.

Personally, my greatest weakness is being impatient when things are not going as smoothly or as quickly as I’d like. It’s a temptation I need to put extra effort into resisting, and although it has gotten easier, it hasn’t completely gone away.

Isn’t that interesting? Even the things we’ve studied and studied and have worked hard to overcome can remain an area of weakness for the rest of our life. That’s why the Bible says in Galatians 5:1, “…Stand fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery [which you have once put off].”

See, you may have received freedom and revelation in an area, but the devil will always come back around and try to tempt you. That’s why you need to learn to continually say, “I am more than a conqueror in Christ. So I’m going to pray and God’s going to help me. And I’m going to have the victory every single time.”

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You’re Self-Sabotaging Your Prayers

Joyce Meyer (8)

2. You’re Self-Sabotaging Your Prayers

For at least twenty-five years, I’ve been praying for God to move so that people would receive miraculous healings while attending my conferences or watching my TV program. For a long time, I just didn’t see it happening, but I was standing on Psalm 107:20, “He sends forth His word and heals them and rescues them from the pit and destruction.”

Now, I don’t remember how it all happened, but God began to show me that there’s a major connection between effective prayer and the words we speak out loud.

One scripture He showed me was Isaiah 58:9, “…Take away from your midst yokes of oppression [wherever you find them], the finger pointed in scorn [toward the oppressed or the godly], and every form of false, harsh, unjust, and wicked speaking.”

So, God’s saying it’s just as important to glorify Him through the words you speak when you’re not praying as it is when you are praying.

3. Your Love Walk Is Weak

I believe our mouth is such a major part of the love walk. I don’t think we really realize how much we can do for people by building them up with our words. We need to be even more careful not to say things that tear them down.

The Bible says the heart is deceitful above all else (see Jeremiah 17:9). We’re kind of desperate to believe we have a good heart, so in order to learn the truth about ourselves, we need to give our tongue a real close examination.

Do you remember the last time you went to the doctor and were asked to open your mouth and say, “Ahhhhh”? Well, it’s because the tongue tells a lot about your physical health. Likewise, the tongue tells us a lot about our spiritual health.

So if you’re not already in the habit of listening to yourself talk, I’m challenging you to start today.

The Antidote to Unanswered Prayer

Learning to abide in God, focusing on His heart and His desires, will bring you to a higher level of spiritual maturity and help you discover the amazing authority you have in prayer. Speaking in line with His Word can move mountains in the Spirit, and growing in your love walk opens up powerful opportunities to show others who God is.

I encourage you to search your heart in these three areas. As you do, I believe you will begin to experience a much more effective, fulfilling prayer life―and a closer, more intimate relationship with God. In His perfect timing and His way, He will always answer you.

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Waiting On God Is Always the Best Move

Joyce Meyer (12)

When we’re impatient and hasty with God, we can be tempted to look for quick fixes and end up making decisions that always cost us greatly in the end.

Remember the story about the Prodigal Son? He didn’t want to wait for his inheritance, so he asked his father to give it to him early. When he got his inheritance, he squandered it and got himself into a desperate situation (see Luke 15:11-24).

The good news is that his father welcomed him back with open arms. He gave him a brand-new outfit and threw him a homecoming party. But one thing we tend to miss from this story is that the son still lost his inheritance!

You know, when we make mistakes due to a hasty, impatient attitude, God will forgive us. But if we decide to be patient, trusting in God’s timing and His plan, we’ll be in a position to receive so much more.

Receiving the Peace and Joy We Need

During difficult times of waiting, we need to know how to receive from God. Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28 KJV).

With God’s help, we can have the pleasure of waiting with a good attitude. We can do the right thing repeatedly, whether or not we get the results we want. We can watch God do a work in a marriage that’s tough to stick with. We can trust Him with a child who’s hard to manage. We can have faith in God for things that seem utterly impossible.

God’s grace doesn’t just save us. It allows us to live with peace, power and supernatural patience because no matter how things look on the surface, we know that God is faithfully at work.

Remember the law of gradual growth? All good things take time…but when our blessings finally come, we’ll look back on the hard times with a refreshing attitude of thanksgiving and praise.


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Oh, the Rich Rewards of Waiting Your Turn

Joyce Meyer (16)

Remembering where you came from makes you thankful.

In our early days of ministry on the road, Dave and I used to sleep in our car in fast-food parking lots because we didn’t have enough money to stay at hotels. I shopped for my kids’ clothes at garage sales.

At the time, I was worried and frustrated half the time because we just didn’t know where the money was going to come from to pay our bills. But God always provided for our needs. Now I understand He was taking us through a process of gradual growth. At first it seemed like nothing was going right for us. But there was a lot of spiritual growth happening under the surface.

Are you tired of going through the process of gradual growth? Let me offer you some words of encouragement: Your time is coming.

Hanging On to Hope at Critical Times

Isaiah 40:31 (NIV) says, “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Some of us need to have a transition in the spirit. We need to show God we’re going to be happy trusting Him, knowing that when the time is right, He’ll come through for us. And in the meantime, we’re going to be content to serve Him in every way we know how.

We can’t despise small beginnings. We can’t allow ourselves to think that we shouldn’t have to go through difficult times to get where we’re going because God is using all of that to help us grow and mature.

It’s only through hard work, praying, waiting on God and doing the right thing for a prolonged period of time that we can be fulfilled and have what God wants us to have―and that’s the fruit of the Spirit, which includes peace and patience.

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